Mary Tutwiler

Kente cloth exhibit at Natural History Museum

by Mary Tutwiler

Intricate design, brilliant color, sacred symbols. The Kente cloth exhibitWrapped in Pride: Ghanian Kente and African American Identity — which just opened at the Lafayette Natural History Museum, displays yards and yards of gorgeous hand woven and pieced fabric, traditionally worn by African royalty. Historically, the cloth was created in west Africa’s former Gold Coast, the kingdoms of the Asante and Ewe, now Ghana and Togo. Woven in strips which tell tales of family and religion, the cloth is used Pan-Africa for ceremonial and diplomatic occasions. The bright colors and patterns have caught on with American designers who have interwoven Kente cloth into everything from backpacks and sneakers to church vestments--imbuing fashion with an instantly recognizable symbol of African pride. The show is up through October 5, and will be free to the public on Saturday, September 13. For more information call 291-5544.